I have heard many differing Minhagim as to the time-frame for naming a newborn girl. There are those that name at the first possible opportunity and some that wait till the second Shabbos. Many others name sometime in between these extremes. My father's Minhag was to name a girl not earlier than 3 days after she was born. What are the reasons and sources behind the various differing Minhagim?

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    R' Shalom of Belz is quoted by Taame Haminhagim as saying to wait until the baby's fifth day of life, or until Shabas if that's the third day. No reason (or citation to a written work) is offered there, which is why this data point is being offered as a comment rather than an answer.
    – msh210
    Apr 24, 2012 at 20:47
  • Keter Shem Tob of Shem Tob Gaguine (תקפא לט) perhaps suggests the custom in London (of Western Sephardim) was to name ASAP. He comments on a formula of prayer found in the daily Siddur that the ש''ץ would use to announce the name. No specific reason is provided re: timing. He states that in Israel, Syria, and Egypt, one waited until the subsequent Shabbat after birth. This suggests that KS''T reads this as an issue of form. No specific time frame is proscribed dafka because form supersedes timing with regards to naming a baby girl.
    – minhag
    May 18, 2012 at 4:40
  • Just added in the above comment since looked it up and the KS''T seems extremely puzzled by the practices he observes. Perhaps those with expertise in certain minhagim (e.g., Egyptian) could help out with this question. It's tough to put in the leg-work and not come up with anything!
    – minhag
    May 18, 2012 at 4:42
  • Related...I found this interesting
    – minhag
    May 21, 2012 at 23:17
  • In Karlin-Stolin they wait until the 2nd Shabbos after the baby was born. I don't know what the explanation is. One once wanted to say it has to do with the 14 days of tumah that an isha has after giving birth to a girl -- however l'dati unlikely that that is the reason why Stolin does this (as it's not always 14 days of course after the birth.)
    – Yehoshua
    Nov 24, 2012 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


Rav Menashe Klein (Mishneh Halachot 6:254) quotes the Labavitcher Rebbe [I assume the most recent one] that naming a child is when the Kedushat Yisrael (lit: the Holiness of [the People of] Israel) descends upon the child. He uses this to explain the custom of those who name the daughter as soon as possible. (Note that Minchat Yitzchak 4:107 makes the same suggestion quoting the Darchei Teshuva who supports the idea from Genesis 2:19.) Tzitz Eliezer (14:21) proves that naming a daughter must is so important that it must be done immediately from a ruling of Derisha (YD 360:2) that when faced with a wedding and a daughter-naming, one should first name the daughter.

Minchat Yitzchak suggests that those who wait until Shabbat do so because during the week one is busy and cannot relax and celebrate sufficiently. He also speculates that perhaps Shabbat is chosen because it is an appropriate time for the mitzva of Peru Urvu as evidenced by the onah of talmidei chachamim (Ketubot 62b). Finally, Rav Klein suggests that Shabbat is chosen because absent the ceremony surrounding a Brit Milah, we choose a very public event such as Shabbat (cf. Gittin 59b).


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